Trump’s administration has dropped a federal lawsuit accusing North Carolina of anti-LGBT hate – despite activists saying the state’s new law “doubles down on discrimination”.
North Carolina’s HB142 became law two weeks ago, repealing the incredibly controversial HB2 law, which forced trans people to use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth.
HB2 led to many boycotts from companies, music stars and sports organisations.
An Associated Press investigation showed the state was set to lose more than $3.76 billion over the next 12 years because of the law.
In May, two months after HB2 became law, Obama’s federal government filed a lawsuit saying the bill discriminated against trans people and violated federal civil rights statutes.
Trump’s administration has now withdrawn the lawsuit, citing the repeal of HB2 as its reason.
This is even though HB142 prohibits local authorities from regulating multi-occupancy toilets, showers or changing facilities, leaving it up to the state.
In addition, these authorities are barred from making anti-LGBT discrimination illegal until 2020.
This decision prompted an outpouring of anger from many prominent LGBT activists, with Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro calling it a “fake repeal”.
And just as they were after the passage of HB142, LGBT leaders were outraged at the new development.
The national ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina and pro-LGBT law firm Lambda Legal joined together to issue a statement of condemnation following the decision.
James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project, said: “The Trump administration may want to use the fake repeal of HB 2 as an excuse to further turn their backs on the transgender community, but the rest of us aren’t going to give up that easily.
“We’ll continue this fight as long as it takes to truly strike down this disastrous law for good.”
The legal director of Lambda Legal, Jon W. Davidson, said this move represented “yet another instance of the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrawing the federal government’s support from transgender individuals”.
He accused the administration of “using the fake repeal of HB 2 as cover”.
“Sadly, this was not unexpected, now that anti-transgender forces are in charge of the Departments of Justice and Education.
“Once again, the Trump administration continues to abandon transgender Americans.”
Writing on Twitter, ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio said: “There is no civil rights division at DOJ anymore. We are the civil rights division.
“We are the resistance. And we will win.”
Following the deal to partially repeal HB2, mayors of several major cities reiterated travel bans and condemned the replacement bill.